E-commerce and global supply chains are and will continue to be drivers for the global logistics business. The industry has been growing at an above-average rate for years, and further growth is expected for the future as well. But the boom also implicates challenges - especially for logistics service providers and freight forwarders, who need to handle the increasing volume efficiently. Failing that, cases of misloading and belated delivery become more frequent - and that has a negative impact on customer satisfaction.


Hellmann Worldwide Logistics also benefits from the growth of the industry. Founded in 1871 by Carl Heinrich Hellmann as a one-man business in Osnabrück in northern Germany, the company is now represented globally as a logistics service provider with more than 10,000 employees and more than 250 offices worldwide. In total, Hellmann handles over 17 million shipments per year – by road, rail, air and sea. In order to keep track of this gigantic transport volume and to be able to hand over shipments to the recipient punctually and undamaged, Hellmann pays great importance to supporting logistical processes with modern IT. This also applies to the 2018 newly opened Bielefeld site, where 100 employees handle an average of 2,000 consignments per day in freight forwarding operations. In order to make the processes more efficient and to ensure the security in the depot, the new branch office – like other locations in different sectors – should also be equipped with an efficient video solution. Frank Niedringhaus, head of the Bielefeld branch at Hellmann, explains the background: „Our customers have to be able to rely on the quality of our services, as even the loss of a small consignment with a low value of goods can lead to a standstill of a production line for several days. „Financial damages – and, if applicable, recourse claims to the logistics partner – are the result. Minimizing these is one of the main tasks of the video solution: It should help to find misplaced shipments quickly, avoid incorrect shipments, or at least detect them early, and quickly clarify claims – in the sense of Logistics 4.0, where transparency, networking and automation are concerned logistics processes through new digital technologies.


Since Hellmann already made positive experiences with the video management solutions of the manufacturer Qognify at other locations, Bielefeld also opted for Qognify Cayuga as a recording platform and Qognify BVI as a research tool. BVI (Business Video Intelligence) combines image recordings with transaction data (scans) from the Warehouse Management System, thus making it possible to trace the route of a consignment in the branch. The assignment of images and data is done by means of location and time-stamp. Since Hellmann works on the area with mobile scanners, a tracking system from Solcon Systemtechnik was installed, which records the location of each scan and allows the assignment to relevant cameras. The plant was planned and implemented by CCD Weber, which had already equipped several sites for Hellmann with video solutions in the past. Roland Lange, authorized officer at CCD Weber, describes the project: „In the depot about 100 cameras are used. Since Qognify Cayuga is a hardware-neutral video solution, cameras from the manufacturers Axis and Hikvision were installed – depending on the field of application. High-resolution 360 ° cameras provide a comprehensive overview of the handling hall and, if necessary, detailed views of individual areas or shipments. Fixed cameras at the loading gates monitor the loading and unloading of the trucks and the correct load securing. In the outdoor area, in addition to overview cameras for securing the terrain, video intercom stations are also used on the driveways, allowing visitors or drivers to register at the office.“ The Qognify solution also provides a system for automatic vehicle identification that enables approximately 80% of incoming traffic to be handled without any employee involvement.


The video solution has a significant effect on the process flow: By documenting the shipments at the entrance and exit, the responsibility for damages can be clearly clarified – the volume of recourse claims, for which Hellmann had to take responsibility, could be reduced by 30–40%. In addition, shipments in the depot can be found quickly and delivered on time – even if they were once put in the wrong place. In addition to cost savings, the video system also improves service quality – and thus customer satisfaction. In addition, the solution enables seamless monitoring of the branch office – this starts at the driveway and continues in the outdoor area, where there have repeatedly been cases of crashes or property offenses in the past. These could be significantly reduced by the use of video. The video solution also reduces costs in the transshipment hall: due to the comprehensive video surveillance, a security crate could be dispensed with, whereby production space was gained.


Branch Manager Frank Niedringhaus is convinced of the benefits that the Qognify video solution offers for his company: „For us as a global logistics company, the subject of security has become increasingly important in recent years. It is the expectation of our customers, and therefore of ourselves, that the goods within the supply chain are always sufficiently protected and controlled. This can be ensured today only by the use of appropriate video technology. At the same time, the Qognify solution serves the purpose of supporting our processes, documenting the transfer of risks provably and clarifying cases of manipulation or damage. If a system fulfills these criteria, our experience shows that pay-off already sets in within a very short time. For Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, it is also vital to be able to rely on Qognify, an international system provider that fulfills the local requirements, but at the same time can be integrated into existing structures following a central standard.“